Madison Bumgarner

Larry Baer: Giants got calls on Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner

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Larry Baer: Giants got calls on Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner

General Manager Bobby Evans and the Giants' front office made just one trade prior to the July 31 deadline.

Eduardo Nunez was dealt to Boston for two minor league pitching prospects.

George Kontos was given to the Pirates on a waiver claim in early August, but no other deals have been struck.

But did they get any calls from prospective teams regarding members of their core like Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner or Brandon Crawford?

"We have gotten calls on Buster and Madison. The calls come in. That doesn't mean we take them seriously," Giants team president and CEO Larry Baer said Thursday on KNBR 680. "Nobody really knows how to assess our behavior in this situation because we haven't been in this situation in a decade or so, in terms in really getting to such a bad start that you get buried."

What is Baer's theory behind the calls for his superstars?

"There's a lot of new general managers out there. So they might call Bobby and say "What would it take?" We'll get those calls," Baer said.

Posey, the 2012 NL MVP, has four years and $85.6 million left on his current contract, while Bumgarner has $12 million team options for each of the next two seasons.

Giants' success starts with rotation: 'As much potential as anybody's'

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Giants' success starts with rotation: 'As much potential as anybody's'

SAN FRANCISCO -- The last time the Cubs visited AT&T Park, the Giants gave them a reminder that for all the talent lined up in a dugout, there is always a great equalizer: starting pitching. Matt Moore nearly dragged the Giants back to Chicago, and the Cubs have been open about how terrified they were of facing Johnny Cueto in a winner-take-all game. 

This series provided a similar reminder. The Giants face an overall talent deficit most days, and they are a heavily flawed team, but they can still compete in the National League if they have a strong rotation. A day after Ty Blach held the Cubs down, Madison Bumgarner did the heavy lifting in a 3-1 win.

"That's going to be critical for us to get this rotation back to who we are," manager Bruce Bochy said. "That's our strength and it got away from us this year. That's who we are. It's going to be important that we throw the ball well the next six to seven weeks."

That process has started already. The Giants are 6-3 in August with a 2.85 ERA that would be even shinier if not for Matt Moore's continued struggles. Blach has five consecutive starts of at least seven innings and he has a 3.00 ERA over that span. Since returning from the disabled list, Bumgarner has gone at least 6 1/3 innings in every start except for one where he was pulled early in a blowout so he could return four days later in place of Matt Cain. He has a 2.52 ERA in the second half. 

"I really thought he would come back and be pretty much the same guy we've always seen," Bochy said. "His stuff is the same, his command -- everything is just right there."

Bumgarner was never particularly concerned. During a rehab assignment, he was confident he would return to his old self. The key for the Giants now is to get others to the same point. They will run Matt Moore back out there in hopes of him finding a solution. They believe Jeff Samardzija's peripherals will lead to better hard results. Johnny Cueto is expected back, and expected to be much better.

That is a path to being better. Wednesday's game also showed how narrow it is. Even with Bumgarner's performance, the Giants needed some defensive sloppiness from the Cubs to actually get the late lead. But if you're looking for a reason why the Giants should be competitive next year, here it is.

"I know we've had a couple of rough spots here and there," Bumgarner said, "But this staff has got as much potential as anybody's. The thing about potential is it doesn't do you any good -- you've got to go out and do it, and that's what we're working to do."

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as Giants take series from Cubs

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as Giants take series from Cubs

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — Joe Maddon has complained recently about the sloppiness of his team of reigning champions. The Giants were all too happy to take advantage. 

With one out in the eighth, Ian Happ couldn’t scoop Denard Span’s grounder to second. A bloop from Ryder Jones and a seeing-eye shot from Jarrett Parker brought Span home, and the run held up. The Giants won 3-1, taking two of three from the Cubs. Here are five more things to know … 

—- You know, there is a path back to being a winning team, and it’s what we saw the past two days. Ty Blach went seven solid innings Tuesday and Madison Bumgarner allowed just one run over his seven innings Wednesday. If Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija and Matt Moore can find better form next year, that’s still a really strong rotation. 

—- Bumgarner let out a word we can’t print after swinging over the top of three Kyle Hendricks changeups with two on in the fourth. He’s rusty at the plate. Kelby Tomlinson pinch-hit for Bumgarner to lead off the eighth even though the lefty was at just 92 pitches. 

—- Sandoval has been a little rough defensively in his first week back, but he added to the highlight reel in the fifth. He went down for a Ben Zobrist grounder and threw to first from his knees, beating Zobrist by a step. 

—- The Giants can’t do anything about the Arenados and Goldschmidts and Hectors of the world, but they’ve mostly kept Kris Bryant in check this season. Bryant was 1-for-4, flying out with the tying run on first in the eighth. He went 7-for-25 against the Giants this season with one homer and one RBI. 

—- Buster Posey did not steal a base, but his good friend Hunter Pence hit an impressive homer to right.